Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Exciting times ahead

I've been a bit busy the past few weeks preparing for two exciting things coming up... I also had shellac on, so no new nails to post up.
The first exciting thing is of course my upcoming wedding (omg a little over a month and still all of the things.) The second (and the reason I'll again be gone for a week) is that I am heading out to the National Education Association Representative Assembly (NEA RA) as the delegate for my school's teacher union. I will join 9000 other educators in our nation's Capitol over the 4th of July. As an early service teacher this is a big opportunity for me and I'm hoping to have some beautiful pictures and stories when I get back.
Also be on the lookout for the headband and clips I made for the 4th.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stash or Trash: Julep Kylie (magnetic)

I received Kylie in my Julep Maven box.  It looks like a frosty deep mauve in the bottle, and that's what the polish looks like when you first paint it on your nails.  I did 2 thin coats and let them dry, then did one generous coat on each nail one by one, then used the magnet.  It was sheer after one thin coat, and opaque after a 2nd, but I wanted a deeper color, and that's what I got with 3 coats.  I also held the magnet at an angle, instead of having the stripes straight on.

A comment first on Julep bottles - their bottles are tall thin rectangular bottles.  This makes for a very precarious paint job - it's very easy to tip the bottle over, so I end up holding it in a bit of an awkward manner between my pointer finger and thumb.  Also, if not received through the Julep Maven program, these polishes are darn expensive at $18 a bottle.  I don't find too much special about the polish to justify that high a price.  OPI runs between $8-$9 a bottle, and I much prefer their formula, color selection, bottle, and brush.

I don't think I'm sold on this whole "magnetic" thing.  My hands are just barely steady enough to almost competently paint my nails, but even the slightest tremor when you're holding the magnet super close to your finger is enough to screw this up.  For this reason, a couple of nails have a 4th coat.  Plus, Julep's magnet doesn't have a lip on it as a guide.  Also...I don't know if it was how close I held the magnet, the magnet, or the polish, but I can feel the texture from the peaks of color. There is a slight raise where the magnet pulled the iron in the polish, like the iron was trying to climb out of the paint.

This looks OK, but it was a pain to do.  After I was done, I still had to wait almost an hour to put top coat on, and even then some of the design got a bit smeared.  I don't like sitting like a glass princess for that long.  I like to slap on my fast dry, and get going after 10 minutes or so.  Add that to the fact that I'm not crazy about the color or the bottle, and this one ends up in the trash for me.  (Ok, you caught me.  The giveaway/trade with friends pile.  I don't throw things away.)

The pictures are actually from my second day of wear, and it's grown on me a bit.  The wavy stripes look neat. still doesn't make up for how tedious this polish is to use.

And a few more pictures to try to catch the angles and how the design turned out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stash or Trash: OPI DS Extravagance

In the can see the little speckles that light up in the sun
In the sun...blurry, but you can see the beautiful shine

I love this polish.  I've actually worn it many times before.  When the sun isn't on it, it's a very classy wine polish.  But when the light hits....oooooh boy shiny.  I sit and stare at my fingers when I have this one on.  This was two coats, and it wears like iron.  Of course this is a stash for me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Birthday Manicure

Sorry for the horrible horrible picture...although it does give you a view of my two lovely rings.  My engagement ring is on the left, and my grandmother's Navajo silver ring is on the right.
The base is 2 coats of OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It!  I don't find it to be terribly unique, but I do really love both the color and the brilliant shine it gives.  It covers in two coats.  However, I used a thick layer of basecoat and it still stained my nails like crazy.
I topped Swimsuit...Nailed it! with Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday.  If wearing multicolored glitter on your birthday is wrong, I don't want to be right.  I really do love that polish.  It gives a fun kick of sparkle and color.

Both of these colors are stash for me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wedding I Spy Reception Game

As you've read previously in my Summer Bucket List: Wedding Edition, I have already had some of my I Spy games printed.  I went through Vistaprint e-mails when they offered free Rack Cards.  The Rack Cards come in packs of 50, and you are responsible for shipping.

The mock up I made on the site looked like this:

To get the different texts and colors, I had to make each line a separate text box.  I played around with order and sizes until I liked what I saw.  Luckily, I don't have to do all of the playing around again, since Vistaprint saves your previous designs in your portfolio.

I received the printed product ahead of schedule.  The rack cards are shiny and a nice quality, thick paper.  I also forgot until I received it that I chose to have a simple black and white graphic printed on the back.  To see how it turned out and my inspiration links, hit the jump!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vistaprint Is My Friend (or, How I Got My Wedding Invites on the Cheap)

I have gotten many a thing from Vistaprint for both my wedding and classroom.  Classroom printing projects can come at a later date, for today is about all of the things I got for my wedding from Vistaprint.

First, a caution:  Be careful about checking extra boxes on this site.  Check and double check that you are not opting into monthly services.  I have had no problems with this, but the internet abounds with complaints of getting charged monthly for something from Vistaprint.

And now, a tip: Buy something cheap there first.  My first purchase was custom return address labels.  Once I bought that single thing, I started getting offers about once a week.  Sometimes they are 40-60% off, but quite a few times so far, I have gotten offers for free things.  That is how I printed out my invites (oversized postcards), RSVP cards (postcards), wedding website inserts (business cards), and picture website business cards.  I also watched Groupon and bought a $17 for $70 worth of goods offer, which is how I got my I Spy games (rack cards) and thank you postcards.  I ordered a few other free things in the mix.  The print quality is generally very high.  The things I have printed have always come out clear and in accurate colors.

The total I've spent for all of the following, shipping and product cost, is just under $140.  The majority of that was in shipping.

I'll post in the next few days with actual photos of what I've gotten from there (haven't had time to remove our personal information!)  But, for now, here are picture from the online mockups at vistaprint.  Hit the jump to check them out!